Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Action by Storm

It seems as if this month is filled with one name. Ory Okolloh. In the last month, I have come across her name several times and finally I decided to do what Google allows me to do best. I looked for her. 

I am glad that I found her. Atleast virtually. If you haven't had a chance to listen to this inspirational woman, mother, sister and African, I suggest that you click here. In her talk about her life, being African and being subject to gazes full of pity, I felt myself speak. When she talked about being in the Diaspora and the pull of 
the Diaspora, I knew she was speaking not to me but about me. 

Her brainchild, Ushahidi, "bearing witness" was home for me when Kenya was on fire. Together with a team of revolutionary Africans (David, Juliana, Eric and a team of volunteers), they are providing this valuable resource to NGOs, for free, to monitor emergency situations. Her team is handing power to the masses, because through their mobile phones, they can create change come war, rain, flood and drought.

Ory, by her move to change things has re-stirred something in me.

In the next few weeks, please be on the look out for a move to a new home site and the long awaited video uploads from other powerful voices.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Equity and equality

It is perhaps not by chance that I find myself embroiled in discussion concerning the face of feminism. While there are various ways to undertake change for the good of the community through the empowerment* of women, one that strongly takes center stage is the idea of equality. Please see my post "Circle" and resulting comments.
Feminism to me goes beyond equality into the realm of equity. Only because through equity do I see an "equal" and mutual respect for all the roles played by the different members in society. Through equality solely, I have no so far seen the respect for a "stay-home mom" as I have through equity which in my perception entails a respect for the role played by a "stay-home mom" that say, a CEO of an oil company might receive. Both roles are important in sustaining the economy and should be rewarded along similar lines. Notice that I have not said a "male" CEO rather, it should be taken that it is not the sex of the holder of the position but the structure that causes disempowerment of "stay at home moms."
Therefore as per my earlier post "Circle" it is not the fact that I was being "bid on" as a woman, that would disempower me, rather it would be the structure under which that negotiation process and surrounding practices, was carried out. In my perception of the structure of bride price and the surrounding rituals, it serves a purpose and that being to hold a family together. There have been other negotiations that have torn families apart, however it is not the fact that the negotiation was over a woman that caused conflict. Rather it was the spirit (therefore structure) under which the negotiation was carried on.

Now to open up a can of worms so the cliche goes...what do you think about female circumcision/ FGM?

*a word that I am yet to fully decipher

Monday, August 04, 2008


This poem is from a deep soul and supporter of kati ya wanawake - a tribute to a sleeping sister:


Storming into our lives
At a tender age,
You weaved another God's umbilicus
Among friends and strangers
Offering what was beyond us,
A first born to our first borns,
A sibling to the only child,
A sister, an auntie, a friend,
To those who know kinship beyond flesh and blood
Sealing the bond
With the quietest of smiles
The beauty of your soul
Invisible in the eternal depth
of Silence
that was the hallmark of your presence

It is well my baby girl